July 12, 2013
The “border surge” provisions in a recently passed Senate immigration bill are shocking, in a bad way—and a little awesome, in a good way. That’s by design.
They are Republican vote bait, yes, and they reek of tough-guy talking points. Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., crafted an amendment that tried to respond to conservative cries for stronger border security. It greased the skids for the massive immigration bill to glide through the Senate on a smooth, bipartisan 68-32 vote. Like it or not, it will be a major part of any negotiations with the House.
The amendment is so over-the-top that it has become an object of ridicule and outrage in both liberal and conservative camps. It would cost $38 billion, on top of the $8 billion for border security already in the bill. Depending on whom you ask, it’s a $46 billion boondoggle, backslide, or blunder.